About the Ocean Player's Club...in order to eligible for the perks you do have to register at the OPC website. The perks you receive are based on the points you earn in a 24-month period of cruising. They have four different levels of membership based on the number of points you earn using your OPC card. These points will get you little perks, special offers, and cash back during your cruise. Some of the perks we have received are a fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries, our cabin decorated (Bon Voyage), free photo coupons, a certain dollar amount in chips, extra points added to our players card, golf-type Ocean Player's Club logo shirts, Ocean Player's Club T-Shirts, tote bags, key chains, Ocean Player hat, cards, and free drinks. I usually go to their website and register about 2 weeks before our cruise leaves. Usually, on the first day of the cruise, there will be a letters from the OPC sent to our cabin telling us to bring our letters in and meet the casino host to receive our free points, chips, etc.
We just returned from a back-to-back 16-day cruise on the Carnival Miracle. On that cruise, we got a fruit basket, a choice of extra points or cash added to our players cards, tote bag full of shirts, key rings, hat, etc., plus the casino hosts bought us about 16 drinks during our 16 day cruise. In addition, we both got back the normal $10 cash back every time we earned 1000 points on our player's card during the cruise. The casino hosts were very nice on the Miracle. We got to know three of them during our cruise, and they made every day a lot of fun for us. I assume the perks we got back were based on the points we had from cruises during the previous 24-month period. In our case, we have taken 5 cruises during the last year. It seems like the year before, we took only 1 for sure, maybe 2. We will enjoy the casino even if we don't get the little perks.
For some reason a lot of people are afraid to use their Sail and Sign card to track their points. Also, there is no charge to you for using the Sail & Sign card as your personal bank in the casino. I normally start out the first day by putting $100 in the machine. If I decide that machine is not paying, then I can cash out quickly by uploading the balance of my $100 to the Sail & Sign card. Then when I get to the next machine, I just download the amount of money I want to play. To do this, you assign yourself a pass code, and punch in at each machine to download or upload your cash. There will be no record of this at all on your Sail and Sign card bill because you are using your own money. There is absolutely no charge for doing this. To me, it is easier than cashing out a lot of coins you have to carry around. Also, in many cases there are not enough coins in the machine to pay out the amount, so people have to wait until the casino hosts come and either put in more coins or write up a ticket that you take to the cashier.
Also, punching the Sail & Sign card just makes it easier to keep up with it when putting it in the machine to track your points. Usually, with the lanyard attached it is easier to remember to grab it when you leave the machine. We have never had a problem getting it punched. The Purser's Office will also punch the cards for you. People that don't use it the casino will also get it punched so they can put it on a lanyard to keep up with it during the cruise.
I hope you have a great time on your cruise. It sounds like fun. I am so ready to go again. I am definitely suffering from Post Cruise Depression. The only one we have booked for now is February which seems like forever! I am going to Las Vegas for a week at the end of this month so maybe that will help, but it is just not the same as a cruise.